The first person that Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, killed on December 14, 2012, was his own mother. She was murdered in her pajamas, lying her in bed, with four bullets to the head. The New Yorker has a profile of Adam’s father, Peter Lanza, in their most recent issue. Written by Andrew Solomon, it is the first time that Peter Lanza has ever spoken to the press about his son’s crimes. However, what stuck out to me most was not Peter unfathomable trauma or even Adam’s cornucopia of possible illnesses — depression? OCD? schizophrenia? insanity? — but instead Adam’s mother and Peter’s ex-wife, Nancy Lanza.
In the mid-2000s, a Yale psychiatry nurse specialist named Kathleen Koenig met with Adam after a time period in which he had started and then abruptly stopped using the antidepressant Lexapro, due to negative side effects. Throughout his teens, The New Yorker describes, Adam would frequently have “meltdowns” and cry alone, sometimes for hours at a time, behind a locked door. Nurse Koenig wrote that she implored Adam to take medication: “I told him he’s living in a box right now, and the box will only get smaller over time if he doesn’t get some treatment.”
Reading that, it seems to me that Nancy Lanza was also living in a box that was only getting smaller if Adam didn’t get treatment. Keep reading »
At the beginning of our relationship, my now-wife “Charlotte” came over to my place for the first time and my room was immaculate. The pens and pencils on my desk were organized in straight lines. You could have bounced a quarter off my bed. Even the photos and posters on the wall were a study in flawless geometric alignment.
Charlotte just thought I was a “neat freak” at first, which, honestly, isn’t such a bad characteristic when you start seeing someone. But as time passed, she realized that my neat and clean ways went much deeper than just about being organized. After we moved in together, Charlotte started noticing some odd behaviors. For example, if something isn’t arranged just the way I like it on the desk, my breathing becomes heavy and I have a mini panic attack until the disorganized piles became organized piles. The first time she witnessed this, she thought I was overreacting and told me to “calm down — it’s just a little bit messy.” Yet my mind couldn’t think of anything else but the books that weren’t perfectly aligned, the pile of paper that wasn’t neatly stacked, the odd objects — a pen, a lighter, and some sunglasses — that were strewn about without any care about their placement in relationship to all of the other objects. I couldn’t continue on with my day without organizing that desk. So I sat down and organized it as Charlotte looked on with consternation.
She suddenly knew that she was in a relationship with someone who has obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Keep reading »
For the majority of my last relationship, my partner was in the throes of a slowly unwinding nervous breakdown. He moved to New York at the same time I did, and lived for a brief period in a state of almost too much togetherness, bound because we loved each other, but also because we didn’t know what else to do. There is a strange thing that happens when you first move to a new city. Stripped free of your usual comforts, you cling readily and fiercely to whatever is available. For us, it was one another, and that felt fine to me, but less so to him. With the stress of living in a new city and delving into a new relationship, his anxiety and depression blossomed beyond the average quarter-life crisis into something much more serious. Keep reading »
It’s no secret that becoming a new parent can be one of the most trying times in a person’s life. Seven years later, I can still vividly remember those first few hours and days together, despite the foggy haze of sleeplessness I was in. A plethora of hormones coursed through my body, screwing with my emotions. I’d be happy but I’d cry, I’d be sleepy but couldn’t quell the anxiety that gripped me. I had read countless books and taken a few classes in order to prepare me for this moment. I still felt completely out of my depths.
Welcome to motherhood.
Thankfully, I had an incredible support system: an equally tired husband who had managed to cobble together a month of paternity leave (through FMLA, using up paid vacation, and taking unpaid time off), parents and in-laws who lived no more than two hours away, a doting doula who helped me not only through labor and delivery but with breastfeeding as well, eager friends, and even a visiting nurse provided by the hospital via our insurance. I was fortunate and privileged. Besides many sleepless nights and some stained shirts, I escaped my son’s infancy relatively unscathed. Yet, the same can’t be said for everyone. Keep reading »
The kombined Kardashian-Jenner klan is famous (“famous”) for lots of things (or, rather, one thing that has splintered off into lots of things): multiple revealing reality television shows, media ubiquity, 72-day marriages, explicit discussion and occasional tasting of bodily fluids, giving birth on camera … you get it. Not one of these things even begins to imply that they are known for any intellectual capacity or emotional sensitivity. Sure, they’re “smart,” in the same way someone like Miley Cyrus is smart — they know how to keep their names in the headlines. (Or their mother does, at least.)
So that’s why it’s depressing, but not at all surprising, that Kylie Jenner went ahead and stirred up some controversy of her own on the Twitters yesterday, posting an old photo of herself with a past hair color with the caption, “I miss my black hair I’m so bipolar :( .” :(, indeed, because girl, YOU ARE NOT BIPOLAR. I can’t even begin to describe the idiocy of this type of misuse of a word — changing your mind about something does not, I repeat, does not a bipolar person make. But hey, on the bright(er) side, at least she acknowledges that bipolar disorder exists, unlike her boyfriend Jaden Smith‘s family. Ain’t nothing Xenu can’t cure! (And no, they still have yet to pinpoint a medical term to describe whatever is amiss with Kris Jenner.) [Gossip Cop]
Darnell Barton, a Buffalo bus driver, saw a woman who’d climbed over a guardrail and was leaning over traffic on the expressway below her. He knew he had to do something. Because nobody else was stopping their car, Barton wasn’t sure at first whether the woman was in distress. But he’s a former volunteer firefighter and member of the Buffalo Special Police, He stopped the bus and approached the distressed woman, giving her a hug and asking if she wanted to come back to the other side of the guard rail. After he’d gotten her to safety and returned to his bus, he was met with applause from his 20 high school-aged passengers. What a nice reminder that sometimes people really are everyday heroes and fate puts us on one another’s paths for a reason. I know it’s cliche, but it really does take a lot of courage to do the right thing sometimes — and this man is about as humble as people come. BRB, I’m getting seriously emotional over here. [USA Today]
Did anybody else breathe a huge sigh of relief when Amanda Bynes was finally hospitalized? Watching her increasingly bizarre stints play out for as long as they did made me wonder if anyone close to her was ever going to step in. I was starting to worry that Amanda would seriously hurt herself, with all of us watching along on social media and doing nothing to stop it.
Thankfully, our favorite/only “Amanda Show” star seems to be getting the help she needs. Her mom, Lynn Bynes, was granted temporary conservatorship over her daughter finances (since dropped because Amanda is in a doctor’s care) and spoke publicly about her daughter’s situation for the first time since Amanda was hospitalized in July. In a statement to People, Lynn Bynes said: Keep reading »